Friday 5 February 2021

The Bees - Let Love Be the Sand (2001-2011)


Short bio:
The Bees (known as A Band of Bees in America, owing to a rights conflict over their name) were a UK band from the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England. Formed in 2000, the band members are Aaron 'Fletch' Fletcher (bass), Paul Butler (vocals, keyboards, guitars), Kris Birkin (guitar), Tim Parkin (trumpet), Michael Clevett (drums) and Warren Hampshire (keyboards). Known for harking back to the 60s and 70s, with cheery pop and trips into the psychedelic, The Bees record their albums in analog, notably recording their debut album in a garden shed.

To quote an Amazon review: "The best word to describe the music is bouncy – the Bees call on snappy drums and cheery basslines and guitar riffs for their sound, as well as some deeply moving Hammond organ. To finish off the sound, they inject some harmonies that would make the Zombies wipe away a tear of pride."
Their influences cover soul, reggae, funk and Motown, with artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Burt Bacharach, Up the Junction era Manfred Mann, The Kinks and Small Faces.

My introduction to The Bees was from a compilation album called "We Love You... So Love Us", released on the We Love You label, a sublabel of Wall of Sound. The main reason for buying this compilation was because it featured a few bands I liked at the time (and still do), such as Clinic, Skylab and Appliance. It was quite a mixed bag, genre wise, but there were only a few songs I liked from bands that were new to me, The Bees of course being one of those, with the track "Sky Holds the Sun".

I heard one more song by them on the radio, their cover version of the Os Mutantes classic "A Minha Menina", but wasn't that impressed, it just made me want to hear the original. I was still intrigued enough to buy their debut album in 2002, "Sunshine Hit Me", which contained the 2 tracks I'd already heard. Unfortunately I found the album a bit weak, only really liking about 4 of the 11 tracks. They veered too often into cod reggae, a genre of music that I've never really taken to over the years.

Then it got better, much better. They signed to a major label and released the excellent album "Free the Bees" in 2004. The cod reggae was thankfully kept to a minimum, which was an added bonus. They released 2 more albums, "Octopus" in 2007 and their final album "Every Step's a Yes" in 2010. Their final release was a single in 2011, a cover of The Mamas & The Papas' "Go Where You Wanna Go".

This collection features tracks from all 4 albums, plus a few EP/single tracks. I omitted "A Minha Menina", I still don't really care for it, and their biggest UK hit single, "Chicken Payback", which reached the lofty heights of #28, from "Free the Bees". It was the one song I really disliked from that album, even though many have it as one of their favourites.

As is now usual, info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you all enjoy this latest collection, and as always stay safe!

  1. These Are the Ghosts (3:07)
  2. You Got to Leave (4:08)
  3. Change Can Happen (3:02)
  4. End of the Street (1:49)
  5. Lying in the Snow (3:51)
  6. The Dink (3:16)
  7. One Glass of Water (2:41)
  8. Love in the Harbour (3:59)
  9. Sky Holds the Sun (3:38)
10. It Isn't Exact (3:52)
11. Jackel Head (3:48)
12. Wash in the Rain (3:37)
13. The Rip (4:34)
14. Punchbag (3:37)
15. Silver Line (3:35)
16. Hot One! (2:43)
17. This Is the Land (3:01)
18. Island Lover Letter (3:35)
19. Sunshine (3:26)
20. The Ocularist (3:52)
21. Go Where You Wanna Go (2:22)
22. Elain (3:05)
23. Hourglass (4:45)
24. These Are the Ghosts (undead version) (5:12)

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Monday 1 February 2021

Songs from Beneath the Spaghetti Tree Vol. 65


  1. The Liquid Sound Company - The Gospel According to Robot A. Hull (3:24)
  2. Black Country, New Road - Athen's, France (6:09)
  3. Cyril Cyril - Président (2:41)
  4. Wayne Rogers - Oh (Ah) (2:34)
  5. Sweet Trip - Pretending (3:43)
  6. S Vremena na Vreme - Dalek Sprema Se Put (3:35)
  7. David Axelrod - The Signs - Part I (3:42)
  8. Los Mundos - Juego de Celulas (3:45)
  9. Urge Overkill - Stull (Part 1) (5:21)
10. Appliance - Enjoy Your Nutrition (2:45)
11. Tamar Aphek - Crossbow (2:54)
12. The Florentines - Whisper Not (2:09)
13. Two Lone Swordsmen - The King Mob File (5:15)
14. Townies - (Oh Dear) Miss Morse (3:31)
15. Alceu Valença & Geraldo Azevedo - 78 Rotações (2:45)
16. John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett - Murder Man (2:17)
17. The Murgatroyd Band - Magpie (2:24)
18. Richard in Your Mind - 13 Stingrays (3:33)
19. ShelleyDevoto - God's Particle (2:32)
20. Melys - Puppet (4:21)
21. Pauk - Mumije (4:12)
22. Deradoorian - Mask of Yesterday (3:57)
23. The Girls from Bahia - Berimbau (2:42)
24. Ihre Kinder - Stunden (4:11)
25. This Heat - Sleep (2:13)
26. A Whisper in the Noise - The Song You Hate (3:25)

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